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Lifespan: 1844 - 1910
Nationality: French painter
Gender: male
Collection: 117 paintings

Henri Rousseau occupies a unique space in the French Post-Impressionist aesthetic that his works conveyed in the primitive or naÔve style. Born into the family of a plumber in 1844 in Laval, Rousseau was an ordinary student but tended to have more luck with artistic subjects and competitions than mainstream school subjects, but did not follow art as a career decision for several decades after finishing his general schooling. Instead, Rousseau worked for a law office and gained a government position which eventually allowed him to be promoted to the position of tax collector. His first wife died, leaving two surviving children of nine. He later remarried and when he was 49 years old, he finally retired to work on his art full time. Ridiculed by much of the art world, Henri Rousseau oil paintings were imaginative depictions of jungle scenes that he claimed were remnants from his memories of Mexico as a part of the French armed services. However, these stories were simply untrue and it became common knowledge that Rousseau had never been to Mexico, nor even served in the French military. Because he had no formal training in art, the oil paintings of Henri Rousseau display a primitive style which is often inherent to the untrained artist, however, critics have found redeeming aspects in the paintings of Henri Rousseau which give him more credit as an artist than he may have received during his own lifetime. Henri Rousseau artwork was created in an untraditional, albeit creative, manner of painting. His technique was an invention in itself as Rousseau painted with one color at a time and started at the furthest layer of the background which was usually the sky and worked his way forward, color by color, to the objects in the foreground. Some critics also criticized his freedom in portraying botanical subjects in his jungle prints because none of the plants appeared to be actual representations of real plants, simply concoctions of Rousseauís creativity. It is through these types of quirks that one can begin to see the strangeness with which Henri Rousseau paintings must have been viewed. He continued to have great faith in his artistic abilities and longed for mainstream acceptance of his work, but never seemed to notice the criticisms made of the works themselves or his thoughts and philosophies as an artist. One talent of Henri Rousseau was that he could effectively work in very large scale paintings which he practiced several times. He also practiced his technique of painting very well, although due to some of his painting techniques, the surfaces of some works have begun to crack resulting from the qualities of the drying of oil paint. However, this is not an uncommon occurrence in oil paintings but the amount of cracking in Rousseauís works is probably a direct result of his self-taught career in painting. During his lifetime, the paintings of Henri Rousseau were displayed at the Salon des Independants among the works of other notable artists of the period such as Matisse.


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A Carnival Evening 1885 1886 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

A Carnival Evening 1885 1886

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A Corner of the Plateau of Bellevue 1901-1902 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

A Corner of the Plateau of Bellevue 1901-1902

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Apes in the Orange Grove 1910 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

Apes in the Orange Grove 1910

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Avenue de l-Observatoire 1896-1898 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

Avenue de l-Observatoire 1896-1898

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Boat in a Storm 1896-1898 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

Boat in a Storm 1896-1898

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Bouquet of Flowers 1895-1900 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

Bouquet of Flowers 1895-1900

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Bouquet of Flowers 1909 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

Bouquet of Flowers 1909

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Bouquet of Flowers 1910 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

Bouquet of Flowers 1910

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Bouquet of Flowers 1910 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

Bouquet of Flowers 1910

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Bouquet of Flowers with an Ivy Branch 1909 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

Bouquet of Flowers with an Ivy Branch 1909

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Bouquet of Flowers with an Ivy Branch 1909 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

Bouquet of Flowers with an Ivy Branch 1909

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Child with Doll 1904-1905 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

Child with Doll 1904-1905

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Child with Puppet (aka To Celebrate the Baby) 1903 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

Child with Puppet (aka To Celebrate the Baby) 1903

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Combat of a Tiger and a Buffalo 1908 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

Combat of a Tiger and a Buffalo 1908

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Eve 1906 07 Paintings | Henri J F Rousseau paintings

Eve 1906 07

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Eve and the Serpent 1904-1905 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

Eve and the Serpent 1904-1905

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Exotic Landscape 1908 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

Exotic Landscape 1908

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Exotic Landscape 1909 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

Exotic Landscape 1909

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Exotic Landscape 1910 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

Exotic Landscape 1910

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Exotic Landscape 1910 Paintings | Henri J F Rousseau paintings

Exotic Landscape 1910

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Family Fishing 1895 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

Family Fishing 1895

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Fight between a Tiger and a Buffalo 1908 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

Fight between a Tiger and a Buffalo 1908

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Footbridge at Passy 1895 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

Footbridge at Passy 1895

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Forest Promenade 1886 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

Forest Promenade 1886

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Forest Rendezvous 1886-1889 Paintings | Henri Rousseau paintings

Forest Rendezvous 1886-1889

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